Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Bottle sealing wax substitute...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    The Boozevarian Village of Leavenworth WA
    Posts
    1,008

    Default Bottle sealing wax substitute...

    I was looking at bottle sealing wax to cap off some of my soon to be inventory so that it may be stored in our unfinished grungy basement. But at ~$18/lb I find that kinda expensive for a single use item. So I used my Google-Fu and came up with some serious amounts of data to sift through, and came up with a winner here: Homebrewtalk.com. No need to read it all, I'll have a synopsis below.

    I came up with my own proportions of course. Mainly because I ordered some industrial crayons called "Staonal" that have massive amounts of pigment in them instead of the cheaper but much more plentiful kids crayons. The kids crayons are great if you have kids, or if you are around kids a lot, but no kids here, and my youngest nephew is 18...

    So short story long is this:

    You use household grade, NOT industrial grade, hot melt glue sticks and ordinary kids crayons obtained in bulk color of your choice to make bottle sealing wax. The recipe is pretty simple:

    1) Find a suitable container to melt everything in, remember that taller is generally better than wider to make sure you can get a good dip.
    2) Obtain suitable quantities of crayons and glue sticks of choice.
    3) Put them into the container.
    4) Melt and stir to make homogeneous.
    5) Test dip and get the temp, consistency, and method down. Recycle the old wax into the pot, it is 100% recyclable if clean.
    6) Wax seal your bottles in your choice of color(s)/style(s).

    Unused crayons can go to kids (or you) to have fun with (crayons are not just for kids you know!). Glue sticks to the person in charge of the hot glue gun for projects and crafts. And a win/win/win situation with goodies for three different areas of home crafting.

    I used:

    6 ........ 10" All temp hot melt glue sticks
    3 ........ Red Staonal crayons
    2oz .... Paraffin wax

    Heated in a 16oz soup can on our electric stove, directly on the burner, at about the "medium" heat setting, staying there with it the entire time I was futzing around to make sure that I didn't start a fire. For stirring it I just used one of our old long dandled DULL knives to stir, and a pair of pliers to hold onto the can once it gets hot. When done I had a waxy goo that when dipped just right, and at the correct heat level, would make a nice thickness overall, whilst also making a nice dribble of waxa la Makers Mark. It was not too difficult to remove, in part or whole, with or without a pull tab/string underneath. I actually prefered using fiber reinforced packing tape for my own stock, or a decorative ribbon held in place with a blob of sealing wax with a stamp in it a la Grand Mariner for gifts.

    The above recipe makes 8oz and uses 1/4 of my glue sticks, and crayons and paraffin are cheap, so my costs are:

    Glue sticks ................ $5.97
    Staonal crayons ......... $1.80
    Paraffin wax .............. $4.11
    TOTAL ...................... $14.88

    Less than $18/lb. And will make me 2 pounds before needing to restock on glue and crayons depending on how deep I want the red to be (the paraffin will last 8 batches, or 4 pounds). I could honestly use 2 staonal crayons because they do have so much pigment in them, but I wanted it to be much richer.

    OK, so tutorial over, chiming in begins.....
    Mazerotic Encephalopathic Affective Disorder (M.E.A.D.) - Gntlknigt1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    432

    Default

    Do you have any pictures?

  3. #3

    Default

    here's a batch I capped last year using melted crayons and gluesticks - I can't remember what the ratio was but I have it written down somewhere. It's a little more brittle than wax, but you could easily play around and get the right consistency. I didn't use any paraffin, just glue and cheapo crayons.

    I like strings under the wax to peel it and hang little gift labels from, although for bottles intended as gifts I used nicer string.

    2014-09-30 07.54.44.jpg
    It goes ding when there's stuff.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Northeast Southweston, CT, USA
    Posts
    947

    Default

    I'm guessing that it would be prohibitively expensive to use melted beeswax. I wonder how far a pound of beeswax would go. A quick scan of eBay shows a range of choices.

    I doubt the beeswax would add any real functionality other than sealing the cork, but it might be a cool way to go.

    Anyone tried this?
    Intelligence Is Knowing That A Tomato Is A Fruit
    Wisdom Is Knowing Not To Put It In A Fruit Salad

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,383

    Default

    Yes.
    I've used it before.
    It's incredibly cheap if you know an apiarist.
    I use it mainly as a polish on turned wood projects, but I've sealed bottles before, for gifts.
    Mae'r teithiau golau ceffyl eto

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,383

    Default

    The added functionality is: it smells nice, and complements the mead.
    Mae'r teithiau golau ceffyl eto

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Northeast Southweston, CT, USA
    Posts
    947

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kudapucat View Post
    The added functionality is: it smells nice, and complements the mead.
    That's the part I was thinking about... that thick "beeswax" aroma.
    Intelligence Is Knowing That A Tomato Is A Fruit
    Wisdom Is Knowing Not To Put It In A Fruit Salad

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    The Boozevarian Village of Leavenworth WA
    Posts
    1,008

    Default

    I thought about some beeswax, but the price is rather prohibitive! ~$11-$15/lb for beeswax. Still significantly cheaper than regular sealing wax though... Might be worth a small scale trial anyway! I just would hate to ruin the wonderful smell of beeswax with that of hot glue gun...

    I recycled all my experiments, but can re-create them easily, and will try for that before the weekend when we leave for Utah for a month.
    Mazerotic Encephalopathic Affective Disorder (M.E.A.D.) - Gntlknigt1

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Northeast Southweston, CT, USA
    Posts
    947

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EJM3 View Post
    I thought about some beeswax, but the price is rather prohibitive! ~$11-$15/lb for beeswax. Still significantly cheaper than regular sealing wax though... Might be worth a small scale trial anyway! I just would hate to ruin the wonderful smell of beeswax with that of hot glue gun...

    I recycled all my experiments, but can re-create them easily, and will try for that before the weekend when we leave for Utah for a month.
    I did a quick eBay search and came up with a load of choices in all different price ranges. I may well give this a try one of these days.
    Intelligence Is Knowing That A Tomato Is A Fruit
    Wisdom Is Knowing Not To Put It In A Fruit Salad

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,383

    Default

    I have never mixed beeswax with hot melt. I just use the wax by itself...
    Add a little crayon for colour if you like, but crayons are rather stinky too.
    Mae'r teithiau golau ceffyl eto

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    The Boozevarian Village of Leavenworth WA
    Posts
    1,008

    Default

    Yeah, the house did not smell too pretty after my little experiment, for several hours. Not something to do if you can't handle intense scents and/or chemical scents. But very satisfying to know you can home craft yet another bit of your home craft...

    I know for a fact beeswax would smell awesome! Maybe for next year I'll buy a pound of wax and make some tests to see if the glue sticks in smaller portions would work as well as the crayon & paraffin mix does. Also the beeswax being a natural product may provide slightly different results.
    Mazerotic Encephalopathic Affective Disorder (M.E.A.D.) - Gntlknigt1

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,383

    Default

    My sealed bottles have lasted 4 years now, with no ill-effect. Though the intent was more presentation than preservation.
    Mae'r teithiau golau ceffyl eto

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Posts
    232

    Default

    EJM3, where in Utah? Southerly I hope. Salt Lake has already cooled down and may not be so wonderful, depending on your plans.
    You may see the stars but still not see the light!

    Storm1969 "when you know the rules, you are a tradesman, when you follow the rules you are a craftsman, when you know when to break the rules you are an artisan"!

  14. #14

    Default

    Just noticed that Paynes, where a lot of us English folk buy our honey from, sells beeswax fairly cheaply - 8.28 for 800g.
    Might have to include some in my next order...
    http://www.paynesbeefarm.co.uk/beesw...x-block-large/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    The Boozevarian Village of Leavenworth WA
    Posts
    1,008

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by edblanford View Post
    EJM3, where in Utah? Southerly I hope. Salt Lake has already cooled down and may not be so wonderful, depending on your plans.

    We will be making something of a loop with Idaho to start (Burgdorf Hot Springs) for a few days, some Utah (Moab), some Nevada (Ely area), maybe some Arizona (Grand Canyon) or California (Death Valley). So a Utah vacation is not really correct. More like a tour of 4 or 5 states in a loop lasting until we get home Nov 3rd.

    I'll have pics of my wax experiments tonight...
    Mazerotic Encephalopathic Affective Disorder (M.E.A.D.) - Gntlknigt1

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Posts
    232

    Default

    Highway 50 across Nevada is a great drive. At the California end you can go south to Death Valley and/or Yosemite. Of course, I am partial to desert and wide open spaces. So many choices. Moab to Monument Valley to either North Rim (my favorite) or South Rim of the Grand Canyon, then on to Death Valley/Yosemite is also an excellent option.
    You may see the stars but still not see the light!

    Storm1969 "when you know the rules, you are a tradesman, when you follow the rules you are a craftsman, when you know when to break the rules you are an artisan"!

Similar Threads

  1. Sealing Carboys
    By PDonn63 in forum Mead NewBees - Post your Questions Here
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-19-2011, 05:23 PM
  2. Anyone tried sealing the fermenter to build up C02, stop fermentation and carbonate?
    By fong song in forum Mead NewBees - Post your Questions Here
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-10-2011, 04:13 AM
  3. Sealing Waxes and Stamps.. where to buy?
    By Malachai in forum The Hive
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-08-2007, 12:58 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •